Loop-mediated isothermal amplification for rapid and semiquantitative detection of Loa loa infection.
Rapid and accurate tests are currently needed to identify individuals with high levels of Loa loa microfilaria (mf), so that these individuals may be excluded from mass ivermectin administration campaigns against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis being conducted in areas where Onchocerca volvulus, Wuchereria bancrofti, and L. loa are coendemic. To address this need, colorimetric loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays targeting the L. loa-specific gene sequences LLMF72 and LLMF342 were developed for the detection and quantification of L. loa microfilaremia. Both LAMP assays were highly specific (100%) for L. loa infection compared to the absence of infection or infection with related filarial pathogens. The LLMF72-based LAMP assay showed greater analytic sensitivity (limit of detection, 0.1 pg/ml of genomic DNA [gDNA] and/or 5 mf/ml) than the LLMF342-based LAMP assay (10 pg/ml of gDNA and/or 50 mf/ml), and its analytic sensitivity was similar to that of LLMF72-based quantitative PCR (qPCR). A high level of correlation was observed between microfilaria counts as determined by LLMF72-based qPCR and time to positivity by the LAMP assay, and performance measures of sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were similar for both assays when applied to field-collected clinical samples. By simply varying the run time, the LAMP assay was able to accurately distinguish individuals at risk for serious adverse events (SAEs) after exposure to ivermectin, using thresholds of >5,000 mf/ml and >30,000 mf/ml as indicators of increasing levels of risk. In summary, LLMF72 LAMP represents a new molecular diagnostic tool that is readily applicable as a point-of-care method for L. loa microfilarial detection and quantification in resource-limited countries where L. loa infection is endemic.
Drame, PM; Fink, DL; Kamgno, J; Herrick, JA; Nutman, TB
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